Sunday, July 20, 2008

July 21-29 Menu, Revised

I have more month left than grocery money so I have revised my menu for the next week or so. We are eating out of the pantry and freezer. Though I will confess that the supermarket has steak on sale for $1.99 lb and boneless chicken breasts for $1.69 lb so I'll be stocking up on those this week but not using them until next month. I'll have to pay for them out of next month's grocery budget money.

Grilled Chicken w/ Honey Mustard Sauce, Salad, Nectarines

Pizza, Pineapple slices

Pasta Salad: Grilled Chicken, Italian Dressing, Pasta, Black Olives, Carrots, Broccoli, Parmesan Cheese; Fruit

Sloppy Joes, Buns, Cheddar, Corn on the Cob, Fruit

BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Fruit

Mystic Aquarium

French Toast, Syrup, Milk

Ultrasound 4:45
Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, Carrots, Fruit

Library 7 pm
Curry Chicken Salad, Monterey Jack, Flour Tortilla

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An experiment in basic grocery shopping.

Are you feeling the pinch of rising grocery prices? I sure am. I don't remember the last month I stayed within budget on groceries. Though I should confess that this is one budget item I always tend to overspend.

I made a grocery store run today. You know the drill. Out of milk. Almost out of bread, cereal, and fruit. I also updated my budget last night to see how much money I had to spend. Yikes! It wasn't pretty.

I have a budget of $300 to feed five people for a month. That's strictly food; no paper products, toiletry items or cleaning supplies included. Last night I saw I already spent 2/3 of my budget and still have half a month to go!!

With that realization, I carefully examined my menu for the month and my pantry. Then I made out a bare bones list and went shopping this morning.

So what did I buy?

4 gallons of milk @ $2.79 each (NOT organic)
2 8z. packages of shredded cheese for pizza @ $1.89 each
2 boxes Cereal @ $1.69 each
1 box Cereal @ $1.49
2 loaves wheat bread @ $1.69 each
5 lb. sugar @ $1.89
dozen eggs @ $1.29
5.35 lbs bananas (that's 14 bananas) $2.90
2.33 lbs. granny smith apples (that's 7 apples) $3.24
2.23 lbs. red delicious apples (that's 7 apples) $3.10
1.30 lbs. broccoli $1.29
1 lb. strawberries $2.19
2.17 lbs. grapes $2.80
1.45 lbs. nectarines (that's 5 nectarines) $1.15

For a total of $43.04

These are items I buy every week without fail. Although the last three fruits are subject to change depending on what the weekly sale/season is. I usually also have a 3 pound package of sliced American cheese on the list but I stocked up a few weeks ago.

It appears my weekly basics are costing me roughly $50. That's 2/3 of my grocery bill before I ever buy meat or ingredients for various recipes. No wonder I've been overspending. Those occasional bags of chips, cookies and sodas are really budget busters. Not to mention doing nothing for us nutritionally.

I'm going to try really hard not to increase my food budget. Any money I shift to food is coming out of our savings for a 3-6 month emergency fund. I'd really prefer to get that funded so I can move on to other goals. I guess going without soda for a few months isn't that big of a sacrifice.

So what do you buy every week and what are you paying for it? Any suggestions on how I can cut costs?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Taco Salad Experiment

When I made my menu for the month I was in an experimenting mood. Mainly I wanted easy, light, and non-kitchen heating recipes. There's only so much grilling a girl can do in a month (and our propane tank emptied over the weekend so I'll be doing NO grilling till Joel buys me a refill). I did a few recipe searches and came across the taco salad recipe.

I've eaten something similar down South so I thought I'd give it a try. I enjoy experimenting with new recipes. This was an experiment not worth repeating. The salad didn't taste terrible but it wasn't a hit either.

All that to say you won't see that particular recipe in one of my menus again. But I'll leave it on the blog. Who knows? You may like it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Curry Chicken Salad

*** Original Recipe found at called Fruited Curry Chicken Salad.

* 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked and diced
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 1/2 onion, chopped
* 1 small apple - peeled, cored and chopped
* 1/3 cup golden raisins
* 1/3 cup seedless green grapes, halved
* 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
* 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
* 3/4 cup mayonnaise

In a large salad bowl combine the chicken, celery, onion, apple, raisins, grapes, pecans, pepper, curry powder and mayonnaise. Mix all together, tossing to coat. Salad is ready to serve!

My Notes: I omit celery, raisins, and pecans because I'm not a big fan of those. I leave out the onions because my kids aren't big fans. If I don't have the grapes it's not a big deal. I serve this salad wrapped in a flour tortilla lined with leaf lettuce. I also increase the curry powder to taste.

July 2-24, 2008 Menu Plan

*Grilled Steak, Baked Potato, Salad, Strawberries
*Lemon Pepper Salmon, Steamed Carrots & Broccoli, Rice
*BBQ Chicken, Baked Potato, Salad, Corn on Cob, Red, White & Blueberry Pie
*Grilled Chicken with Peanut Sauce, Carrots, Peppers, Mushrooms, Onion, Pineapple Slices, Rice

*Taco Salad, Fruit
*Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich, Potato Chips, Fruit
*Joel Work Dinner ??????
*Pizza, Pineapples
*Grilled Chicken w/Italian Dressing, Pasta, Croƻtons, Black Olives, Carrots, Broccoli, Parmesan
*Grilled Steak, Baked Potato, Salad, Fruit
*Birthday Party ???

*Hamburger Nachos, Homemade Salsa, Fruit
*Biscuits, Bacon Gravy, Fried Potatoes, Scrambled Eggs, Fruit
*Lemon Pepper Salmon, Steamed Carrots & Broccoli, Rice
*Pizza, Pineapple
*BBQ Chicken, Baked Potato, Salad, Fruit
*Sloppy Joes, Buns, Cheddar Cheese, Corn, Fruit
*Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Glaze, Carrots, Peppers, Mushrooms, Onion, Pineapple Slices

*Curry Chicken Salad, Tortillas, Red Apples, Lettuce (Leftover Chicken)
*Grilled Burgers, Buns, Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickles, Onion, Chips, Fruit
*Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich, Potato Chips, Fruit
*Honey Mustard Sauce, Grilled Chicken, Grilled: Squash, Onion, Mushroom, Carrots, Fruit
*Ham & Cheese Melts, Raw Carrots, Fruit

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